Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 May 2018 1 John 4:18.

1 John 4:18.   There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.

And then it was Monday; Monday of a long weekend in the British Commonwealth of nations celebrating Queen Victoria’s birthday! And to tell you how far I am out of the loop, I did not even realize that this was a long weekend until yesterday. Hn! Life surely passes you by when you’re having fun! (smile) 

That means a lot of people around the world aren’t working today, but are at home or wherever celebrating, which means we also have to invoke Granny’s warning for all believers. ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business. And don’t give the devil any chance at all to get into your life!’ 

And a lot of stuff is going to be happening in the North Country today, especially with the glorious sunshine out there. Let’s hope the Spirit of the SON keeps us on a tight rein. (smile) 

But since in many parts of the universe life and work go on as normal this Monday morning, we need to encourage those who have to labour while we play. So let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to help them gather themselves together. 

In strong voice now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And as usual on a day like today, many of the voices that were the strongest were also harsh and out of sorts from the exuberance of the holiday weekend. (smile) But that’s just life; we’re always more enthusiastic when we don’t have to get involved in an unwanted task. 

And today we want to look at an important verse of scripture from John’s first epistle: ‘There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.’ 

Oh friends, those two words, ‘fear’ and ‘LOVE’ rule most of our lives. Earlier on John declares: ‘And we have known and believed the LOVE that God hath to us. God is LOVE; and he that dwelleth (abides) in LOVE dwelleth (abides) in God, and God in him.’ (1 John 4:16) 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘4:16. John, like Paul (1 Cor.13:13), stresses the supremacy of LOVE as  a characteristic of God, and therefore  as a dominant characteristic of the true believer.’ That means if true LOVE isn’t one of our dominant characteristics, then we’re not truly into God, and vice versa. 

And John continues: ‘Herein is our LOVE made perfect (LOVE is made perfect among us), that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world.’ (1 John 4:17) 

Now hear the scholars. ‘4:17. Herein points back to verse 16. By dwelling in LOVE, and thus having God dwelling in him, the believer gains the priceless assurance that he need not fear the coming judgement. This is our assurance, if we LOVE in this world as He does.’ 

Yes my people, we need God’s LOVE dwelling in us, if we are to walk this earth reassured and without fear of the days to come. And why is that? Because as our Bit says: ‘There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear.’ So if you have LOVE, you won’t fear, and if you have fear, you can’t have LOVE. As simple as that! 

And the scholars explain: ‘4:18. Fear hath torment: Abject fear of God is based on dread of punishment. But God’s LOVE for us renders such dread obsolete. Fear is still part of the Christian walk in the sense of profound reverence, the unwillingness to violate God’s trust in us (see Acts 10:35; 13:26; 2 Cor.7:1; Eph.5:21; Phil,2:12; 1 Pet.1:17). Believers need not fear eternal rejection as a result of God’s judgement (John 5:24), but this does not mean a Christian’s approach to God is to be casual and flippant.’ 

Ah mih people, I think we should all take a few minutes and look at those scriptures, I just did, as they all drive home the point that though we should not fear God in the sense of having personal courage to come to Him with confidence, we definitely need to show Him deserved reverence, honour and admiration. 

And as the definition of reverence declares: a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe and veneration. Yeh friends, that’s how our God must be to us. Much LOVE!

…and now abideth faith…hope…LOVE…these three…but the greatest of these is…LOVE… (1 Cor.13:13)

 

 

 

 

 

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